Monday, May 01, 2006
...kind of. Those scenes from 2000 of people running riot and causing untold mayhem are long gone, it would seem. In our little area of the world, the May Day activies planned for the Sunday, at least, were small in number and small in attendance.
Less than 40 people turned up, and, partly because of the lack of resources, there were only a few officers hanging around in case anything happened.
In the event, the small number of people who did turn up simply wandered around for a bit, with us ushering them out of any private land they went on to, played some music on their powered speakers someone had brought in, and generally milled about. They had some banners but they couldn't be read from any great distance. Therefore, whilst they made plenty of noise on the various percussion-based instruments certain activists had provided, the vast majority of members of the public either had no idea what was going on, or were not particularly phased. In fact I think most of the public only found out what it was all about by asking me and my colleagues who were stood nearby!
Whereas protestors have been known to do things like chain themselves to inanimate objects, or engage in sit-down-in-the-road-and-risk-getting-run-over
stunts, this lot didn't do much other than try our patience. 'Mischevious' would probably be the most appropriate word. There were no cenotaphs defaced or fast food restaurants vandlised, indeed the worst that happened was some of the protest briefly walking in a road that was both empty and closed to mainstream traffic. So pretty mild as far as protest shenanigans go.
Some protestors had various filming equipment out. I suspect they were expecting us to outnumber, arrest, assault or generally obstruct and disrupt them. If so, then they would have been quite disappointed that none of that happened, especially as the whole thing occurred towards the end of the shift, and the last thing we wanted to do was start wading in and risk keeping ourselves on past finishing time!
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